A rare and beautifully made sterling silver early Victorian pocket compass, dating from 1856. The compass has a silver hunter case, hallmarked for London 1856, English bar needle, jewelled pivot, and hand-painted Georgian style enamel compass card. The case has the maker's mark of Richard Oliver and John Edwards, case makers who worked in Galway Street, London from 1846 - 1859. Richard James Oliver was first recorded as working in Galway Street in 1845. Oliver was in partnership at this address with John Edwards and they traded as Oliver and Edwards. The maker's mark 'RO' over 'JE' was first registered at the London Assay Office in 1846. When the partnership was dissolved in 1859, Richard Oliver continued in business at the same address until 1876, when he moved to 1 Northampton Square, Clerkenwell. In 1895 he relocated to 31 Wynyatt Street, Clerkenwell. From 1903 the business was carried on by his son Albert Thomas Oliver. Oliver's business never used modern industrial techniques or machines, continuing to make cases by hand in the old-fashioned way, until the business eventually closed in 1970. The tools and techniques used by the Olivers were a relic of the Georgian era, and they would have been familiar to watch case makers of the eighteenth century.
(The above information on Richard Oliver is from the very interesting website: www.vintagewatchstraps.com)
The compass is in very good condition, full working order and finds North well. The hallmarked silver case is in very good condition. The glass is in very good condition. The enamel compass card is in very good condition, with a minor hairline crack near the 'S' marker.